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Seattle to Buildings: Give Tenants Transit Passes, Not Parking Spots

May 11, 2015 After decades of telling residential developers to build a minimum amount of parking for tenants, smart cities are now looking for ways to discourage the creation of unnecessary spaces. That’s because while some people enjoy the amenity of a personal spot, residential parking also makes housing less affordable (by jacking...

How a Quick Glimpse of Nature Can Make You More Productive

May 6, 2015 A nice walk through a city park can do wonders for a work-weary brain, reducing mental fatigue and improving attention. But if you're trapped on the high floors of an office tower all day, you can't exactly break for a long stroll and a picnic. Well, fear not. If you...

The Only Chart You Need to Explain America's Broken Gas Tax

April 29, 2015 The Congressional Budget Office has released a status update on the Highway Trust Fund that pays for America's roads and part of its transit network. Prognosis? Negative. The gas tax that helps populate the fund has lost most of its purchasing power thanks to a combination of political stagnation (it's...

Meet the Opposition to Texas High-Speed Rail

April 15, 2015 Turns out you don't need to rely on public money to be hated as a U.S. high-speed rail project. That much is becoming clear from the battering being given to a big Texas bullet train plan that's privately funded. A quick recap: Texas Central Railway, a private firm, is pushing...

Don't Expect to Ride in Driverless Buses Anytime Soon

March 17, 2015 Driverless cars are coming. Manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz and Ford andNissan are all-in. So is Google. So is Uber. Test sites are underway around the world. Intricate road maps are being developed and idiosyncratic driver profiles are being designed. The timelines might be optimistic, what with some expecting fully autonomous autos...

California Drivers Are About to Give High-Speed Rail a Big Funding Boost

March 5, 2015 The California high-speed rail project got a big funding cushion last summerwhen the state set aside 25 percent of cap-and-trade revenue for the $67.6 billion bullet train between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Now it turns out that cushion might be much bigger than expected. The state's latest budget anticipates...

6 Reasons New York's Latest Traffic Pricing Plan Will Succeed

February 18, 2015 The dream of road pricing will never die in New York, and on Tuesday it got a new injection of life. Move NY, a rapidly expanding coalition involving former city traffic engineer Sam Schwartz, released its "final" plan to charge drivers for the congestion they create heading into Manhattan's central...

America's Infrastructure Crisis Is Really a Maintenance Crisis

February 13, 2015 It's long been time to focus more on maintaining America's existing roads and less on building new ones. The National Highway System already connects virtually all of the areas worth connecting. Driving peaked circa 2004—and even earlier in some states. Traffic remains bad in many metros, but by itself expanding...

Say Goodbye to the Classic White Boxy U.S. Postal Truck

February 13, 2015 The classic white boxy U.S. Postal Service truck that's been roaming American streets for decades just received a Dear John letter. The agency has issued a Request for Information for a "Next Generation Delivery Vehicle" it hopes will replace the existing fleet by 2018. Here's Automotive News, which spotted the...

Every City Should Have Something Like San Francisco's Mass Transit Access Map

February 11, 2015 Transportation planner Chris Pangilinan likes to think of a public transit agency as a manufacturer that sells a product, and that product is access. Not rides; sure, we can enjoy the physical act of traveling, but that's not our primary motivation when we swipe our fare cards. Access: getting to...

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